Posted by: Jena Davison | March 2, 2010

What a Week

I guess I spoke too soon in my last post. Within a week of semi-bragging about making it almost five months without any issues in Latin America, I had my first experience with being robbed. Luckily it wasn´t a late-night mugging or a weapon-wielding affair; in fact, I didn´t even know I was robbed until three or so hours later. I simply stuck my hand into my bag and felt around for my wallet only to find that it wasn´t there.

Poring over the morning´s details in my head, the only viable conclusion was that someone on the bus had taken it. I definitely had the wallet before I boarded the bus because I used a quarter from it to get on the Ecovia (the city bus), and the only thing I did between then and when I realized it was missing was take the bus to work, walk the meager two blocks to my office and set my bag down on my desk. A search for slashes or holes in my bag came back clean, so my only guess is that someone slyly unzippered my bag and grabbed my wallet in one swift movement.

I was told just how professional and tactful thieves are here—how if you feel them robbing you, they are bad robbers. I couldn´t agree more. I literally did not feel a thing. Not a thing. My bag was not open and exposed, nor was it even far away from my body. The strap slung diagonally across my chest like it always does, with the pocket of the bag hugging my right hip. I think I remember being in a rush that morning and I´m sure someone picked up on it. That, plus wearing flip flips, which is basically like putting a bullet sign on that screams GRINGA GRINGA GRINGA, probably made me the day´s first decent target. Luckily, I wasn´t a great target after all because all they got away with was $15 cash, a $2 wallet from a market in La Paz, Bolivia, my keys and my international student card. Nothing irreplacable or too costly. My reaction was bizarre—not so much anger as frustration and annoyance. It almost was like I was expecting—waiting for—this to happen.

It had been a bad week in general and this just put me over the edge for the time being. The day before I found myself locked outside my house in the rain, without much I could do to alleviate the situation. In order for you to picture this, I need to explain the setup of where I live. Basically, in order to get out of my house, you need to open the front door from the inside, which you don´t need a key for, and then you need to unlock a gate beyond a tiny courtyard in order to get out to the street.

So, on thi day, I opened the front door like usual, slammed it behind me, arrived at the gate and felt around for my keys, only to find that I had accidentally left them on the kitchen table. Mierda (Shit), I thought. Now I couldn´t get out to the street to catch the bus to work or get into my house. I was literally stuck in between the two in the courtyard as the first rains in at least a few weeks poured down. Almost everyday, I thought about how much it would suck for this exact situation to happen.

I couldn´t ring the doorbell because that is geniously only located outside the front gate, so I attempted banging on the front door for a good 15 mintues. Then I called my boss telling her I was in a ¨weird situation,¨which I was. Since she had lived there in the past, I secretly hoped she could provide me with some details about a secret passage or something to escape with. No luck. So I just waited. I sat down on the front stoop and leaned against the front door and watched the rain fall.

Seriously convinced I would be sitting there for hours since most of my housemates work or take classes until at least 2pm, I was elated when one of them opened the front door about a half hour later. She was running late, and I scared the mierda out of her. The last thing she was expecting as she was running out the door was to find someone sitting on the front stoop. I nearly hugged her, ran into the house, grabbed my keys and gave them a fuck you look before heading to the bus stop. Now that I´m thinking about it, that´s probably why they were stolen the next day—no respect on my part. I should appreciate the keys, not curse them out. It was my fault leaving them there, after all. Karma´s a bitch.

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